• Madison White

A Story a Day #60: O. Henry




April 20th, 2020

"The Cop and the Anthem"

O. Henry


A man named Soapy notices that winter is upon him in New York City and it is time he goes to stay at the Island. He attempts to enter a restaurant, where he plans to eat and not pay, but they do not seat him. He smashes a window, but the cop doesn't suspect him. He tries to pick up a prostitute but she won't do anything with a cop looking. Finally, he stumbles in front of a church and is overwhelmed by it. He decides to become a better man and find a job and live a good life. Suddenly, a police man comes and asks him what he is doing. He says nothing. He is sent for three months to the Island.


At first, I didn't expect to like this story. Sometimes stories about New York are just too New York for me, if that makes sense. They are very wrapped up in their own city as if it is an inside joke only they know. Anyways, this wasn't really the case here. I also suspected not to like it because of the word "cop" in the title. I'm not really a huge fan of police-related stories and detective genres. However, the story didn't have much to do with that at all.


Instead, it is a rather funny story about how a man keeps trying to get arrested but fails. It is quite ironic that when he finally stops trying, he is then arrested for nothing at all. I thought it was well paced and engaging. I kept wondering what thing he would try next to get arrested and if it would actually work. I rather enjoyed this piece.

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